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May 30, 2022

After all Tara Air Twinotter 9N-AET crash site found in Mustang area

Foreign Affairs News Desk
A scene of Tara Air crashed in Mustang on Sunday. Rescue Team image
A scene of Tara Air crashed in Mustang on Sunday. Rescue Team image

Three families on board; All passengers died, aircraft in pieces 

A Tara Air flight 9N-AET from Pokhara to Jomsom that had been contactless since Sunday has been found with an accident in Sansare of Thasang Village Ward No. 2. of Mustang District.

Jomsom is a popular trekking destination in the Himalayas about 20 minutes by plane from Pokhara located in the Kali Gandaki Valley of the Himalayan region of Western Nepal, Mustang is a mountainous region popular for the pilgrimage of Muktinath Temple.

A subsidiary of Yeti Airlines, established in 2009 Tara Air using aircraft from the Yeti Airlines fleet focusing its services to remote and mountainous airports and airstrips.  

According to the Chief District Officer of Mustang, Netra Prasad Sharma, the accident site was identified by a local on Monday morning who sent a picture of the wrecked aircraft.

Earlier, the locals were informing the Nepal Army that they had seen a fire at a landslide site at the foot of Manapathi Himal.

“After receiving the picture, we have sent an air rescue team,” Sharma said.

The Tara Air flight from Pokhara to Jomsom lost contact with the tower at 9:55 am on Sunday after 12 minutes taking off from Pokhara, but was not found till evening. But it was found with accident on Monday morning.

According to the airline sources, the flight was commanded by Captain Prabhakar Prasad Ghimire, along with co-pilot Utsav Pokharel and Air Hostess Kismi Thapa.

Among the 19 passengers were two from Germany, four Indians and 13 Nepalese were on board.

According to the rescue team composed of Nepal Army and Nepal Police the aircraft was totally damaged and scattered into pieces and all the passengers were declared dead. All the bodies seem to be burnt and also difficult to identify as parts of bodies are also scattered here and there.

According to Netra Prasad Sharma, Chief District Officer of Mustang, quoting the locals the passengers were found burnt at the crash site.

Sources also disclosed and confirmed that seven members of the same family from Mithila Municipality-11 of  Dhanusha district were travelling on the missing Tara Air plane have involved in the accident.

The family members have confirmed that Rajan Kumar Gole, his father Indra Bahadur Gole, mother Ram Maya Tamang, uncle Purushottam Gole, aunt Tulsa Devi Tamang, uncle Makar Bahadur Tamang and Maiju Sukumaya Tamang were on the plane.

The Gole family was on their way to Jomsom by plane to visit Muktinath.

The other family members ended their lives were Ganesh Narayan Shrestha, Mrs. Rashmi Shrestha, Ms. Rabina Shrestha, Ms. Rojina Shrestha.

Rojina and Rabina were studying in the USA. They came home for holiday and went to Mustang. But unfortunately they breathed their last in Sansara.

Also according to the reports in an Indian newspaper, Mrs. Vaibhabi and Ashok Kumar Tripathy along with their two children also lost their lives in a crash.

It was known that Mrs. Vabhabi and Ashok Kumar are under legal process for divorce. As they are soon to be divorced, both of them came to Nepal for short holiday tour to entertain their children before their separation.

The latest report said, so far 16 bodies have been found by the rescue team from the crashed site. 

History

Looking back to the flight accident history, as per the records over 850 lives have been claimed in various flight crashes.

According to the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, more than 52 planes (small and big) and helicopters have crashed in Nepal in the last 76 years of aviation history.

According to the Ministry data, the first flight accident in Nepal happened on May 7, 1946 in which no casualties were reported. It was Royal Force Airplane that crashed at that time.

Later, after nine years, the first human casualty- two people- in a Kalinga Air’s plane crashed in Nepal was in 1955.

Then in 1956 and in 1957 an Indian Airlines plane crashed in Kathmandu.

Less than a year later, in 1958, again another Indian Airlines plane crashed in Nepal.

In 1960, the Nepal Airlines plane crashed in Bhairahawa. Another Nepal Airlines plane crashed in Dhorpatan in 1962 and in the same year, again another Nepal Airlines plane crashed in Dhorpatan.

In 1969, again Nepal Airlines plane crashed in Nepal.

In 1970, a Nepal Airlines plane crashed in Delhi and also the same year another plane crashed in Jomsom.

Two years later, the records of the crash were added with an accident in Dhulikhel. In 1975, a Nepal Airlines plane crashed in Kathmandu and in 1976 in Meghalaya.

In 1979 another incident took place in Langtang. Nepal Airlines’ planes crashed in Biratnagar in 1981, in Bhojpur in 1984 and in 1985.

In 1992, a Thai Airways plane crashed in Rasuwa district claiming 113 people. In the same year, a Pakistan Airlines plane also faced fatality in Lalitpur in which 167 people were killed. In the same year, the Everest Air plane also crashed.

In 1995, a Nepal Airlines plane crashed. The Karnali Airplane crashed in 1997 also one more crashed in 1998. Asian Air plane crashed in 1998 in Solukhumbu. In the same year, a Nepal Airlines plane crashed in Solukhumbu too.

In 1999, a Nekon Air plane faced fatality in Jumla. In the same year, a Skyline plane crashed in Makwanpur.

A Nepal Airlines plane crashed in Dadeldhura in 2000 and a Fistel Air helicopter crashed into Rara Lake in 2001.

Similarly, in 2002, Skyline’s crashed in Surkhet whereas Shangrila Air plane crashed in Kaski.

In 2004, Yeti Airlines plane crashed in Lamjung and Air Dynasty’s plane crashed in 2005.Again in 2006, Yeti Airlines plane crashed in Jumla and Lukla.

Agni Air’s plane crashed in 2010 in Makwanpur. Tara Air’s plane had crashed in Okhaldhunga in 2011. In the same year, Buddha Air’s plane crashed in Lalitpur.

In 2012, Agni Air’s plane crashed in Jomsom and Sita Air plane crashed in Kathmandu.

A Nepal Airlines plane had crashed in Arghakhanchi in 2014.

In 2015, a US military helicopter crashed while being deployed in post-earthquake relief and rescue operations.

In 2015, another helicopter crashed in Nepal. In 2016, Tara Air plane crashed.

In 2018, a US-Bangla Airlines plane crashed due to slipping during the landing process at Tribhuvan International Airport. In the same year, Altitude Air helicopter crashed in Nuwakot, Makalu Air crashed in Simikot.

In 2019, an Air Dynasty helicopter crashed at Taplejung and a Summit Air plane crashed at Lukla Airport.